Poto: Rolling Hills Park

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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Kazie » January 23rd, 2014, 7:44 pm

My tires are Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 2.35 front and rear... But it may be something more to do with my bike. It's a Spesh Epic. It's very difficult for me to keep the balance and go straight in very, very slow speed where it slips and slides every few inches. It's not a bike designed to go slow in the first place... It's a good practice for balancing, though.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby c0nsumer » January 23rd, 2014, 9:30 pm

Kazie wrote:My tires are Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 2.35 front and rear... But it may be something more to do with my bike. It's a Spesh Epic. It's very difficult for me to keep the balance and go straight in very, very slow speed where it slips and slides every few inches. It's not a bike designed to go slow in the first place... It's a good practice for balancing, though.


It's probably more your tire width and deep snow. What you're experiencing is exactly why many of us ride fatbikes in winter now.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Steve_Balogh » January 23rd, 2014, 10:16 pm

Kazie wrote:My tires are Schwalbe Ice Spiker Pro 2.35 front and rear... But it may be something more to do with my bike. It's a Spesh Epic. It's very difficult for me to keep the balance and go straight in very, very slow speed where it slips and slides every few inches. It's not a bike designed to go slow in the first place... It's a good practice for balancing, though.


Trying to think back riding a normal bike - can you/did you try locking out your suspension? I seem to remember sometimes suspension acts funny on icy conditions. I had better luck with a hard tail with a rigid fork. From the start to the crater was probably a good ride for you, but afterwards I remember some good bumps where I let a bit of air our of my rear tire.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Kazie » January 23rd, 2014, 10:48 pm

c0nsumer wrote:It's probably more your tire width and deep snow. What you're experiencing is exactly why many of us ride fatbikes in winter now.

Right. Snow is too deep this winter. This condition makes me think of getting a fat bike. But it may not be so bad next season like the last one. If the surface is just icy, the Ice Spiker tires do a good job. So, I just don't know another $3000-bike really worth.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Kazie » January 23rd, 2014, 11:06 pm

Steve_Balogh wrote:Trying to think back riding a normal bike - can you/did you try locking out your suspension? I seem to remember sometimes suspension acts funny on icy conditions. I had better luck with a hard tail with a rigid fork. From the start to the crater was probably a good ride for you, but afterwards I remember some good bumps where I let a bit of air our of my rear tire.

My bike has a Terralogic fork and a Brain in rear. So, they are locked most of the time. And I've been riding on about 12 PSI... And yes, it got tougher and tougher after the crater last night. In the middle of the trail I was still thinking of completing the loop, though. But when I reached at the 90-dig left turn to the Munger Rd. section, I was done. I had already struggled for nearly two hours. Well, I'll go back next week. It could be better after the fat bike race.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ibisman » January 25th, 2014, 8:06 am

My bike uses the completely different way to ride deep snow. I use 1.8" studded tires and they are not affected by deep snow as they don't float on top, they cut through to the ground or ice. I have had no problems other that the cold temps this winter. I've been riding where There are no tracks other than deer and rabbit. You don't need a fat bike but I still want one. Just ride.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Kazie » January 25th, 2014, 9:53 am

ibisman wrote:My bike uses the completely different way to ride deep snow. I use 1.8" studded tires and they are not affected by deep snow as they don't float on top, they cut through to the ground or ice. I have had no problems other that the cold temps this winter. I've been riding where There are no tracks other than deer and rabbit. You don't need a fat bike but I still want one. Just ride.

Hm... That's an idea. I didn't think about that. I may be going to give it a try. Thanks, ibisman!
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby utabintarbo » January 27th, 2014, 11:43 am

ibisman wrote:My bike uses the completely different way to ride deep snow. I use 1.8" studded tires and they are not affected by deep snow as they don't float on top, they cut through to the ground or ice. I have had no problems other that the cold temps this winter. I've been riding where There are no tracks other than deer and rabbit. You don't need a fat bike but I still want one. Just ride.


This is highly dependent on the snow being pretty dry and powdery. It also requires cold temps and a lot of wind to keep it that way. Once it packs down a bit, it becomes much like sand or mud, depending on water content. That's when the fat tires win.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Steve_Balogh » January 27th, 2014, 8:53 pm

utabintarbo wrote:
ibisman wrote:My bike uses the completely different way to ride deep snow. I use 1.8" studded tires and they are not affected by deep snow as they don't float on top, they cut through to the ground or ice. I have had no problems other that the cold temps this winter. I've been riding where There are no tracks other than deer and rabbit. You don't need a fat bike but I still want one. Just ride.


This is highly dependent on the snow being pretty dry and powdery. It also requires cold temps and a lot of wind to keep it that way. Once it packs down a bit, it becomes much like sand or mud, depending on water content. That's when the fat tires win.



I've ridden with Dave in some nasty conditions at Morton Taylor, somewhere I've got a vid of him also. He can ride pretty well. Long ago I bought one of the last run of Specialized Storm Control tires I had read about in a book on winter biking. I believe they were 1.7's with seriously wide spaced knobs that dug into the snow. Pretty much designed as a rear tire. They worked pretty well, but not a nice ride in icy footprints hidden under snow. Rather a taboo subject, but they made great mud tires, I only recall using them one season in the snow. If you don't go fat, going even skinnier can have benefits with the right tire in snow.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby Kazie » January 27th, 2014, 11:08 pm

ibisman wrote:My bike uses the completely different way to ride deep snow. I use 1.8" studded tires and they are not affected by deep snow as they don't float on top, they cut through to the ground or ice. I have had no problems other that the cold temps this winter. I've been riding where There are no tracks other than deer and rabbit. You don't need a fat bike but I still want one. Just ride.

Question to Mr. ibisman! What studded tires in that size do you use? So far I only found Innova Tundra Wolf 26x1.75/1.90. Someone sells them for $70 each at eBay.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » February 16th, 2014, 10:32 pm

Was out at RHP for the first time in a few weeks. Looks like very little or no traffic has been on the singletrack for quite a while. Most of the trail was deepish fresh snow or completely drifted over. Looked mostly unrideble so I decided to walk the trail in snowshoes to re-break a path. Hard work, but I got through the whole trail with the exception of the Munger loop.

Tons of skiers on the 2-track trails, and lots of sledders on the hill. The parking lot was almost full. Great to see so many people enjoying the park.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » March 30th, 2014, 8:04 am

I went out to RHP yesterday for the first time in over 3 months. I didn't walk the trail but checked it out from the grass lanes in a few locations. The open areas of the west meadow and any area with a southern exposure are free of snow. However, the forested sections - i.e., most of the trail - still have a surprising amount of snow. It will be another week or two (or three) before the snow is gone especially where it's compacted to ice. And then we have to wait for the permafrost to melt out. Maybe the trail will be open for riding in 3-4 weeks. Drainage is very good at RHP, but the winter was long and deep. Let's be patient and stay off the trail until it's ready.

To channel our energy, I hope to start the trail extension project. I flagged a new section of trail from the kettle pond in the west meadow up to the Wiards/Merritt walk-in entrance following outside the paved path (see photo below). I sent this photo to the RHP park supervisor - Steve Wyatt - and hope to gain his approval in the next week or so. As you can see in the photo, I have also proposed completing this northern loop along the east side of the park, then W just north of the road and finishing on N-S and E-W treeline sections back to the kettle pond. All together this northern loop should be ~1.8 miles or so.

Take a look at the flagged section and give some feedback. The first bit down into the corner N of the kettle pond will yield some nice down and uphill bits. There are also some nice boulders on the treeline at the top of this rise that we may be able to use for a technical section after some dirt engineering. The rest is not overly interesting, but will add some faster, open meadow miles at the end of a ride. Unfortunately, there are some pretty tough thickets to push the trail through and quite a few thorny areas. However, a trail crew of 5+ could probably clear the trail tread in a day or two. Then we would have to do some work with a rototiller to smooth out the tread and maybe fill some old farm furrows. We'll see how much work needs to be done with the rototiller after we get started.

I'll let you know if/when I get approval from Steve Wyatt. It's possible that could happen as early as this week. If so, I'll call a trail day for next weekend. Keep an eye to this forum for updates.

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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby ChrisInYpsi » March 30th, 2014, 6:08 pm

Rode thru the paved trails at RHP today at the end of my dirt road ride (aka "pot hole dodging"). The flagged trail looks fine and we should be able to cut most of it in fairly quickly with enough help.

If Steve will till this area we should ask him to also take a stab at your prior plans for meadow trails out near the Bemis connector. Lots of furrows out there and machinery will make that work much more efficient.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » April 4th, 2014, 3:11 pm

The RHP Supervisor - Steve Wyatt - has given the go ahead to start on a northern loop of trail from the west meadows kettle pond to Wiards, adding 0.8 miles of single track. I laid out some trail last week up to the walk-in entrance at Wiards on Merritt. In total, the whole loop will be 1.7+ miles once we get agreement on a trail track for the eastern edge of RHP.

So, given that good weather is forecast, I plan to be out at RHP tomorrow (Sat., 4/5) from 9 AM to ~1 PM working on the new trail. If you are available, I would welcome your help. If you have any tools (loppers, McLeod, Pulaski, pruners), bring them along. With a crew of 4-5, I'm sure we can finish the first 1/4 mile of trail and make it available to riding as soon as the rest of the trail is open.

Hope to see you tomorrow.
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Re: Poto: Rolling Hills Park

Postby michael48197 » April 6th, 2014, 8:41 am

Thanks to Greg Cook and a passerby/MTB newby - Arthur send me your contact info - a good start was made on the newly approved northern loop at RHP. We rough cut the first 1/4 mile or so after re-orienting part of the proposed trail in the first corner to take better advantage of the terrain. The next 1/4 mile also needs some pruning and digging out of thorn bushes. But, the remainder of this first section up to the Merritt walk-in entrance is all mowing so it will be quite fast to clear the track.

I would love to see a bigger crew out at the next session. I'd like to have a team do a trail walk-through to clean up winter debris and then finish up this first section to Wiards. If that gets done quickly, then we can start clearing the N-S and E-W tree line sections on the return to the kettle pond. The return loop on the east side of RHP is still under discussion, but may be sorted out by the next work day. Regardless of the exact location of the trail tread on the N and E edges of RHP, virtually all of that work will be mowing.

However, I'll need some help to make this happen...hopefully next weekend. Can anyone with a trailer hitch commit to helping pick up a brush hog for the mowing next Saturday? Having a trailer too would help, but we can always rent a trailer. If I get that commitment by Monday or Tuesday, I'll call an official trail day for RHP next Saturday.

This new loop runs across old farm fields. In some places, there are significant furrows which will obviously need to be fixed. Right now the top soil if very wet. As such, I'm thinking that the smaller bumps will get smoothed out quite quickly by just riding. It's possible to run a rototiller over the trail track and then tamp it down, but that is a lot of work to do with a walk-behind tiller (there's not enough room to drive the 36" pull-behind tiller on the RHP tractor). Also, I fear that the trail tread will turn into a channel after tilling. I think natural compression of the soil and gradually wearing away the grass will yield a better track in the end. So, I don't think we will till unless needed. Let's be patient and see what happens.

The permafrost is not quite gone yet at RHP. So, please stay off the trail for now. There are still some snow/ice covered areas in the trees. With highs in the 50's predicted all week, I think the snow will be gone this week. If the frost layer melts out as well, then RHP may be open for riding within 2 weeks.
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